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February 17, 2020

Nikita Pearl Waligwa Who Starred in 'Queen of Katwe' Dies at Age 15 Following a Brain Tumor

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Disney's "Queen of Katwe" star, Nikita Pearl Waligwa has passed on years after a tumor was first found in her brain. 

Everything appeared to be well with Nikita Pearl Waligwa, who was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 as she seemed to be on the path of recovery a year later.

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However, in 2019, another tumor was found, and this time, the young actress didn't survive it, according to a tweet from her school and a Today report

"According to Lupita, the young girl had played the role of Gloria with "such vibrancy" despite the health challenge she was facing in real life."

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Nikita's school, Gayaza High School, had taken to Twitter soon after Nikita's passing to state:

"Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumor at such a tender age. Rest in Perfect Peace dear."

It would be recalled that Nikita had played the role of Gloria, who was the close friend of the main character Phiona Mutesi - played by Madina Nalwanga - in "Queen of Katwe."

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The 2016 Drama Sports Film also featured Lupita Nyong'o who CNN reported, took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late co-star.

According to Lupita, the young girl had played the role of Gloria with "such vibrancy" despite the health challenge she was facing in real life.

Sky News added that the 15-year-old had been in and out of the hospital and had even received treatment which included surgery in India.

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The site added that "Queen of Katwe" told the true-life story of Ugandan chess genius Phiona Mutesi, who had grown up in poverty in the Kampala slum of Katwe.

In the movie, Phiona was encouraged to pick up and learn the game by a chess teacher, even though her mother had told her not to dream big because she would be disappointed.

The film got high praise from critics for including young Ugandans with no acting experience.

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